Due to the fact that everyone else that usually attends the Gold Coast outreach was busy, it was only me at the coast today. But the day was still very beneficial and interesting. I was armed with loads of the "Are you a good person?" comic book gospel tracts, and they worked extremely well.
So I began handing out gospel tracts and getting into one-to-one witnessing encounters. But about 45 minutes into it, two police officers came up to me. One of the constables asked me, "How many times have I told you that you're not allowed to be here?" I was very surprised by this unexpected question, so I said, "I don't think you've ever told me I'm not allowed to be in Surfers Paradise." The officer said, "You didn't answer my question. How many times have I told you you're not allowed to be here?" So I said, "I don't recall anytime you saying this. You may have said to us that you don't like us preaching here, but you've never said we're not allowed to be here in Surfers Paradise. Are you saying it's against the law for me to be in Surfers Paradise?" The officer responded, "No. You still did not answer my question, how many times have I told you that you're not allowed to be here?" It seemed like he wanted a one-word answer, so I responded, "Never". He then asked for ID, and then made a phone call. Once he returned to me, he said, "You're OK. You can continue to hand out your literature, but if you start preaching you'll be charged with public nuisance."
It's likely that a guy who we see at the coast very regularly and who really hates the gospel message saw me there again today, and then reported me to the police. And then the police officers came up to me assuming I had preached, and since I said I hadn't, he had probably called the council security to see if I had. Please pray for the person who regularly opposes the preaching, and the police officers that they will all be converted. And please pray that we will continue to be able to preach the gospel at the Gold Coast unhindered.
So for the rest of the day I continued to share the gospel by giving out tracts and using that to start up an evangelistic conversation with the people I gave the tracts to. A number of times, when I finished a conversation with someone, I would think in my head, "Mankind is so depraved.". As the sorts of things that the young people especially, were willing to admit that they do (without even feeling ashamed about doing it) really reminds me how Ephesians 2 describes the state of man, as being "dead in our trespasses and sins." (Eph. 2:1)
Many quite happily said that they would rather continue on in their sins than come to Christ. In that sort of situation, I usually like to pose an analogy for them to think about what they are really saying. I ask them to imagine they were in a house doing some very fun activity. Then they notice that there's smoke around and the house is on fire. I ask them, "What would you do? Would you say, 'I'd rather stay in the house because I'm doing a really fun activity,' and then you get burnt and die? Or you would you run out of the house?" Almost all the people I've used this analogy on say that they would run out of the house. So then I compare their response there to the statement that they made earlier. I say, "That's like your life. The flames of Hell are coming closer and closer towards you, because the amount of time you've got left on this Earth is getting shorter and shorter. So why would you say, 'I would rather keep on sinning for the remaining years, months, or even days that I have left', and then be sent to an eternity in horrible torment? When you can escape that eternal torment, by repenting and putting your trust that Jesus Christ paid for all your sins on the cross. You said you would run away from something that could kill your body - something that has temporal value, yet you would not do the same with something that has eternal value?"
Generally that analogy does bring it home for most people and they understand the foolishness of their decision to reject Christ. But it seemed that most of the young people I chatted to at the coast today were so hard hearted that they still preferred sin over Christ. Please pray that God will convert all the people that heard the gospel today or received a gospel tract, that God would draw them unto Himself and grant them repentance and faith.
To God be the glory!
Another one of the many public holidays that we as Australians seem to be enjoying of late. So to celebrate this day off we decided to head down the Gold Coast to do some preaching on the beach front.
It was good to be joined by Louise today, it was her first time on the Gold Coast with us. The day was interesting we had quite a big team come out, including many of the Brisbane team who came for a day of witnessing on the GC.
Ryan was the first preacher, he only spoke for about twenty minutes but did a good job. As he preached he engaged a few hecklers including one woman who climbed onto a concrete slab to hurl abuse. It is amazing how many people get angry at the preaching of the Gospel. It just goes to show that humanity loves sin more than it can ever love God.
As the preaching was happening hundreds of tracts were going out. It is always encouraging to see people sitting reading the gospel. On the Gold Coast we encounter people from the world over, so that one Gospel tract has the chance to travel the world and win many to Christ.
After Ryan preached I also had a go, as did a couple of other preachers. It was a good day. At the close of play a young lady came forward, she had listened to the preaching for about an hour and her words were these, "I want to give my life to Christ." With that she surrendered to the Saviour. Straight after my preaching I spoke to a young man named Tom who said he needed the Saviour and he wanted forgiveness of sin, but he couldn't give up his sin as he loved it too much. He just wanted Jesus as a ticket to heaven, but he didn't want Christ as Lord. While Tom was under deep conviction of sin, he was still away from the Kingdom of God. Please pray for him.
It was another sunny day on the Gold Coast. There is something special about witnessing on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Today we had a good size team on the Coast. Ryan and I were joined by the Barnard family. Today the majority of use were using the new Operation 513 comic tract. This tract worked really well on the Coast, no matter what age the person was the majority took the gospel message.
The we set up and began to preach, Ryan was the first preacher up and he did a great job, he spoke about the necessity of repentance for one to come to faith in Christ. It was a good message and a few people stopped to listen. During his time preaching a rather vocal group of females decided to open fire on him. He did a great job of using them to advance the gospel.
After Ryan had finished preaching, I began to preach. While I was speaking the same hecklers came back, and once again they decided to mock and make fun of the preaching, so I decided to go after them and use their mockery as a launch pad for the gospel. While I was dealing with the girls a man open fire on me and decided to hurl abuse. This continued till a non-Christian in the crowd turned and fired upon him. It is always good when the crowd shuts up the one causing the problems.
Once I had finished preaching Rick Barnard got up and preached about the reality of death and how we all need a Saviour. He did a good job considering he has only preached a few times. It is good to see him up there proclaiming the Word of God.
Saturday 11th April 2009
It was only me today at the Gold Coast, as the rest of the team were busy. But even so, the day was still marvellous! I had a stack of Big Money gospel tracts ready, and I was very interested to see how they would go. It was the start of school and university holidays, so I noticed that when I arrived it was really busy even though it had been raining.
So after parking my car I headed to Cavill Avenue. On the way as I was giving out some gospel tracts, I had good conversation with an American guy aged in his twenties about whether he thought he was going to Heaven. He wasn't sure, so I told him that I'll give him a quick test to see if he was a good person. After admitting to breaking most of the commandments, the fellow recognised his own sin. So he asked, "Then is everyone going to Hell?" This is where I could present the amazing news of the gospel, how a wretched sinner can be justified in the sight of God through the sinless death of Jesus. The man understood the message, and said he would definitely think about this.
Once at Cavill Mall, I saw that there was heaps of people about, so I positioned myself in the centre of mall and started tracting everyone. The gospel tracts went out incredibly fast. Everyone seem to love the big money and almost every second person would come back asking for more for their friends or family. The tracts even work well around Asians, as generally most Asains don't like receiving something on the street, but the Big Money they all loved. So thousands of gospel tracts went out, and many seeds of the gospel were sown today.
Week of E - Report by Josh Williamson and Ryan Hemelaar Monday, 13th April 2009 - Gold Coast
Easter Monday holiday, and once again the cloud cover came in and rain was threatening. Today we started our first ever “Week of E” which will run each school holidays, what we do is go to the one spot and for each day in the holidays we will preach and witness on that one spot for a week.
Today the team was made up of Ryan, Andre, Joel, Amy and myself. My voice was sore from preaching on Saturday night and also preaching at Rosalie Baptist Church on Sunday morning, so I planned not to preach.
Andre stood up the preach first, and all I can say is WOW! It was the best sermon I have ever heard him preach. For about twenty minutes he expounded on what the Gospel is. And he had a crowd for the whole time, the crowd was made up of mostly middle age to older people all who stood and just listened.
Afterwards both Ryan and I ended up preaching, and during our short three hours on the Gold Coast we were able to distribute thousands of tracts and have many one to ones. The week is shaping up to be exciting.
Tuesday 14th April 2009 - Gold Coast
Josh had a Church meeting today, but I still made my way to the coast. I was able to have many great conversations with people and hand out stacks of gospel tracts. A guy called Dave, who is part of Open Air Campaigners, joined me later in the afternoon and he set up a flip chart to share the gospel with people. Quite a few people stopped to hear and see the gospel message being presented by him.
During this time, I had a rather in-depth conversation with a Sikh fellow. He wanted to go to Heaven, but after bringing him through the commandments, he realised he didn't deserve to go there. So I explained that he must repent of his sin and trust that they only reason he'll go to Heaven is because of Jesus' death. After asking him when will he do that, he said he believes in Jesus, but also every other religion as being correct as well. That is one of the fundamental beliefs of the Sikh religion, they must believe that all other religions are true as well. But I explained to him that it is impossible for someone to truely believe that every religion is correct. He asked why. So I explained that since Jesus said He is the only way to get to Heaven, Jesus was saying that every other religion is false. So therefore, if someone wants to believe that Christianity is true, they must also believe that every other religion is not the way to Heaven. The fellow understood that, but said, "My scriptures say that I'm not allowed to convert to other religions" - which is rather ironic, because if all religions are true, there shouldn't be a problem in converting to another "true" religion. So I explained to the man that since the Sikh Scriptures are logically inconsistent (in saying that all religions are true), there is no point holding to something that is plain wrong. Please pray that God will convert this man from his work-righteous religious system.
Wednesday, 15th April 2009 - Gold Coast
I was running a bit late, so I arranged to meet Ryan down the Coast today. As I arrived and began to walk to Cavil Avenue I heard a yell from a passing car, it turned out the Joel, Glenda and Amy Barnard had all come down the Coast as well. So we met up and made our way to the beach front for some witnessing.
One the walk in we were able to hand out many tracts and engage in some great conversations.
Upon arriving on the beach front we had a quick lunch then Ryan began to preach. He did a great job in expounding the gospel and telling people how they can come to know Christ. Afterwards we were able to hand out many tracts again and also talk to people one to one.
At the end of the day when leaving something awesome happened. On Saturday, I was handing out gospel tracts and one of the Metre Maids came over to say that I was doing a very good job and asked what Church I go to. She then asked, "Do you think it is inappropriate for me to be wearing what I'm wearing." I said that the Bible does say that you should not cause another person to stumble into sin. She then asked a couple of other Bible related questions, like "What do you think will happen in the end times?", etc.
On the Tuesday, I ran into them again on the street and was able to present the law and the full gospel to both of the girls that were on duty. One of them was really interested in the message, but the other not as much. However the following day, I returned and asked them if they thought about the message I told them the previous day. They said they had and they both wanted me to pray with them to receive Christ as Lord and Saviour. So I did. Then they informed me that it was one of the girls' last day on the job and she'd be moving back to the Whit Sundays. Praise God she was able to hear the gospel before she left the Gold Coast! The other girl said that she would now also be having a change of career as well. To God be the glory!
Thursday, 16th April 2009 - Gold Coast
Ryan and I were the only ones who could make it to the Coast today, but we were both fairly excited about the ministry opportunities that would present themselves. We followed the usual practice of tracting everyone up on our walk in, this in turn then produced one to one conversations. That is something I really love about the Gold Coast, it is extremely easy to get a conversation with someone.
After a quick lunch I decided it would be a good time to preach. So I stood up and spoke about how Australians like a week off, then I swung it around to why we have Easter off and what its significance is.
A crowd gathered and I had three really rowdy young people all of whom attend “Christian” school start to heckle me. There heckles were basic at best. “There is no god” was their cry, but they weren’t open to being shown otherwise. Although towards the end one of them had changed, he was listening. Please pray that God would convert him.
The crowds stayed around for about an hour, God was kind enough to allow His word to go out, and many people heard the good news of salvation.
Friday, 17th April 2009 - Gold Coast
The final day of the Week of E. Again it was just Ryan and I that went out, but once again God blessed the ministry. We both preached today and both of us had fairly good size crowds stop and listen to the gospel. It was also very good to actually see some people who had come to the last 2 -3 days of preaching. While Ryan was preaching there were a few of the normal heckles like “Prove God exists” etc. Ryan dealt with them and then proceeded to preach Jesus Christ.
After Ryan finished it was my turn to preach. I started by using Amos 4:12 and asking people are they prepared to meet God. A few young ladies stopped to listen so I engaged the most vocal one of them. She was very hostile to the things of God, but she brought a crowd in. She kept asking questions like “What about homosexuals, does God love them?” I kept bringing back her questions to the fact that Jesus was a friend of sinners and He loves sinners. But that doesn’t mean they can stay in sin.
At the end the majority of the crowd took tracts. Please pray for all those who heard the gospel this week. May God save them for His Glory!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sound of the rain greeted me this morning as I awoke, normally if it is raining it isn’t worth going down the Gold Coast to witness as no one is around. But, it was decided that we would still head out, trusting that God would provide opportunities for us to witness.
As Ryan, Joel and I drove to the Gold Coast we once again were greeted by more rain, and the clouds on the horizon promised more rain to come. We started to re-consider if it was wise us going out witnessing today, however, we pushed on. We were joined by Andre and Tamara also, so we had a good size team today on the Coast, all we needed now was a break in the weather.
When we finally arrived at the beach the weather had changed, it was now fine and sunny. Every now and then there would be a sun shower but nothing much. Ryan immediately began to hand out the new Operation 513 Big Money tract, and it was great to see so many people going out of their way just to ask for this tract. Before the day was out we will have gone through thousands of this tract.
The first preacher up for the day was Ryan. The crowds were a bit slow today. He preached and a few people stopped to listen. It was around this time that we were joined by our brother Heath from Western Australia. Ryan preached and explained the gospel to those who would listen, but we put it down to the weather to explain why things were so slow.
After Ryan finished preaching it was time for Andre to preach. He like Ryan began to expound on the law of God to show people that we have all sinned. Once the fact of sin had been established he then moved on to explaining why Christ came. The crowds once again were small, but we rejoiced in the fact that the gospel was preached.
Later in the afternoon it fell to me to preach, personally I didn’t want to preach. I looked around and saw that there were very few people on the beach front and now the wind had picked up so it would make it hard to preach. All these excuses ran through my mind. As I planned not to preach a thought ran through my mind “Did you not pray that God would bring in a crowd?” That was true, we pray that each week. We ask that God will bring a crowd not us. So if that is our prayer, then shouldn’t I preach? As I stood to preach I breathed out a silent prayer, “God, these are your people, bring them in to hear your Gospel.” With that I began to preach, a few people stopped to listen, but not many seemed interested. For about twenty minutes I preached but very few stopped. There was this one young man who had been listening for the whole time so I decided to do a call out on him.
I looked at the young man standing to my right and said, “Mate, if you died tonight, where would you spend eternity?” The man hadn’t expected the question, so he replied “I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell.” Within seconds of the discussion beginning a crowd began to form. For the next hour Andrew (the heckler) and I went back and forth in regards to the gospel. He would pose a question and I would try my hardest to answer.
God was using Andrew and his heckling to bring a crowd in to hear the good news of salvation. Towards the end of the discussion the crowd began to get rather vocal, cheering when a question was answered and clapping at good comments. These all served to bring in more people. The very last thing Andrew declared to the crowd and I was this, “I am glad my sin killed Jesus! I am happy I killed Him!” The crowd fell silent, it was such a shocking statement that even the listeners didn’t know what to say. My heart broke for Andrew so I pleaded with him to be reconciled unto God. Then I turned to the crowd and pointed out we were the sinners that cried “Crucify Him” when Jesus faced Pilate. But, even thought we did that, we are still the ones for whom Christ cried “Father forgive them!” I went over the gospel once more with the crowd, then wrapped it up. Many of those in the crowd took tracts. Please pray for Andrew and also for the crowd, that God may save them!
The rest of the day was spent in one to one witnessing and also tract work. Many people got to hear the Gospel today, and once again I learnt the lesson that I am to trust in God more fully when I evangelize.
This is mainly a photo report. We had six people on the Gold Coast team this week. Josh Williamson, Joel Barnard and I took turns preaching at Surfers Paradise, while the rest of the team handed out tracts and talked to people. Even though it was cloudy for parts of the afternoon, various people stopped to hear the preaching and many good one2one conversations were had. Praise the Lord!
The sun was shining and it was rather busy at Surfers Paradise as Joel and I walked up through Cavill Mall. As we waited for others to arrive, we continued handing out gospel tracts and witnessing to people. I had quite a few good conversations with people, one was with two teenage boys who after going through some of the 10 commandments with them, realised that they deserved Hell. So I explained the cross and what they must do to be saved, however they said they would rather have more fun now than repenting and putting their faith in Jesus.
So I gave them an analogy to think about. I said, "Imagine if you were in a house and you noticed it caught on fire. You either have the choice of running out the house and avoiding the pain of getting burnt and dying, or you could just keep sitting there, saying, "I'm having too much fun in the house to escape the flames" I asked them what would they do. They said that obviously they would run out of the house. So I pointed out that regarding life, they are in the same predicament. For the flames of Hell are coming closer and closer to them, for the amount of time they have left living on this Earth is getting less and less. So they have the choice of saying, "I'm just going to enjoy life and then receive the eternal torment in the flames of Hell", or escaping the flames by turning to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. That is, not trusting in anything good they've done to get them to Heaven, but instead putting their full trust in Jesus' death to save them on the Day of Judgment. The boys then understood the importance of the decision they have to make. Please pray that God will draw them unto Himself.
Once Andre arrived, we had a time of prayer and then I stood up to preach. Almost immediately a bunch of teenagers jumped out of the bushes and started to listen and heckle. I went through the good person test with them (using God's law), in order to bring the knowledge of sin. During this time, a rather large crowd had gathered to hear the dialogue taking place. I explained the cross and the resurrection to the crowd, pleading with them to turn to Christ in repentance and faith.
One of the teenagers called out by saying that the Bible is all a fairy tale. So I asked him, "Point to one thing in the Bible that is a fairy tale". He responded by saying, "In the book of Genesis, it talks about a man that has a Lion's head. That's clearly a fairy tale". I pointed out that nowhere in Genesis does it talk about such a man. He insisted, so I said, "Here is my Bible, please look it up and show it to me." He admitted He didn't know where it was and conceded the point.
After preaching the gospel numerous times, I stepped down from the preaching spot and Andre got up to preach. He talked about the judgment that will come to all after death, and God's standard in which He'll judge them. And because of our sin, we all deserve Hell. He then went on to explain that that is the precise reason why Jesus died, to save His people from the consequences of their sin.
After Andre got down, Jamie joined us for the remainder of the outreach and we all continued witnessing one2one with people and handing out gospel tracts. Both Joel and I ran out of gospel tracts by the end of it, but Andre had some spare, which was good.
Many seeds of the gospel were planted today. To God be the glory!
Jason Lamont, Joel Barnard and I made our way to the usual preaching spot at the top of Cavill avenue. On the way we started handing out gospel tracts to everyone we met, and had a few brief witnessing encounters with people. When we arrived, we had a time of prayer, to remind us that God is the one who is sovereign in salvation.
I stood up to preach first, and after a while, a small crowd gathered. I asked a couple of the people listening whether they thought they were good people. I went through some of the commandments with one fellow, and he admitted to breaking them. He understood he deserved Hell, but after I preached about how he can be saved from his sin, he was really interested. He said he would really think about the gospel that he heard today, and he received a gospel tract.
After about an hour of preaching, I tagged Jason in to preach. He did a good job explaining the judgment to come, sin, and the wonderful news of the gospel.
During this time, a mate of mine named Jerram arrived and was keen to witness. It was his first time evangelising on the streets, but after receiving a bunch of tracts, I turned my back for a moment and he was out of sight. It turns out he had walked up and down the path that runs parallel to the beach handing out tracts to everyone he met and starting up conversations with people.
Joel also, for the whole time, was handing out gospel tracts and having witnessing encounters with people.
Right when Jason finished preaching, it started to pour down rain. So we went undercover and continued to hand out tracts there.
At 2pm, we thought we might start heading back to the car since it was still raining. But on the way back, Joel and I started up a witnessing encounter with a mother and her daughter from Melbourne, who were holidaying at the Gold Coast. At first, the mother was saying that she will get to Heaven because she's a moral person. But after going through a few of the commandments, she agreed that she wasn't really moral. She was a Roman Catholic, so she thought that the fact she tries her best, God would have to make an exception for her and let her into Heaven. So I showed her where in the Bible it says we are saved by grace through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). After 30 minutes of discussion, she seemed to understand the gospel message, and why the blood sacrifice of the Son of God was necessary to forgive our sins. She then said that she now has put her trust solely in Jesus' death to save her on the day of judgment. Praise God.
In the meantime, Joel was chatting to her daughter and she seemed to have a bit of trouble understanding the gospel message. She kept bringing up objections at every point and it seemed like her heart was very hard. But she said she now has many things to think about because the extensive conversation.
Just before we reached the car, we noticed a large line of youths waiting at a bus stop. There was a concert on that day and they were trying to get there. So we decided to give them all gospel tracts. However, we had each run out of tracts from the outreach. So we returned to the car and picked up some more and handed them out.
Many seeds of the gospel were sown today.
To God be the glory!
Tim, David Strachan, and I arrived at the coast and as we walked to Cavil Avenue, we started handing out gospel tracts. This lead into quite a few witnessing conversations with people.
One in particular was with a guy who responded by saying he's broken so many laws, when we asked, "What law do you think everyone in the world has broken?" We explained that the only law (or group of laws) that every single person in the world has broken is the Ten Commandments. So I went through a couple of them and he admitted that he had broken them. He understood that he was deserving of Hell. So I explained the gospel to him, but he said he wouldn't repent and believe because he wants to get his just deserts. He said that in life he would rather receive the consequences of his actions, and not be let off the hook. But I explained to him that that is foolish and he doesn't really hold that philosophy in life. For I got him to imagine that if his job wasn't paying enough money to provide food on the table for himself or his family, and so some people were offering food to him. I asked him, would you accept the free food or let you and your family die? He said that he'd obviously accept the food. So in the same way, I explained, we deserve to be sent to Hell for eternity and Jesus is offering forgiveness if we repent and trust in Him. Why would you reject His free gift? And this gift is much greater than simply food, as this has eternal consequences.
Due to the fact that by the time we arrived at Cavil Avenue, it was already late. We decided to not preach today and simply continue to hand out tracts and witness to people. I was able to witness to the Meter Maids briefly, many gospel tracts went out.
To God be glory!
Jason, Markus, and I met under the Surfers' Paradise sign ready to proclaim God's Word at the Gold Coast right on noon. We firstly prayed, and then I got up to preach. A small crowd gathered and the people sitting on the all the various seats in hearing-range listened to the message being preached. However, there was no one who wanted to heckle. I called out to a young man that was listening whether he thought he was a good person, he said yes, however as soon as I mentioned some of the commandments, he ran away as the conviction of sin he did not like.
After expounding on the law and the gospel numerous times, I stepped down and tagged Jason in. He spoke about the temporality of this life and the fact that the judgment follows it for every single person. During this time a group of guys stood there intently listening. One even decided to record the message on his phone. A few of them tried to mock the message, but Jason reminded them that what you sow, you will also reap one day. The law and the gospel were also clearly explained to them, so I pray that God will grow the seed that has been planted in their hearts.
After Jason got down, I got up to preach and tried to engage this group of guys. One of them was willing to see if they were a good person, and he soon realised he wasn't. So I explained that the Jesus Christ came to die on the cross to take the punishment we deserve in Hell, He can take it on the cross for us. But we must repent and trust in Jesus' death to save us on the Day of Judgment to receive forgiveness of sins.
After I got down from preaching, Jason and I joined Markus handing out gospel tracts and witnessing to people one2one.
Jason had a good conversation with a person who was a Roman Catholic. Jason explained that contrary to the Roman Catholic teaching, the Bible actually says we are saved by grace through faith alone. No one is required to take part in any of the sacraments or other good works to be saved, they are simply a natural response to genuine faith. He also talked about the idolatry of Mary in the Vatican's teaching, and what the Bible says about it. The man seemed to understand what Jason was saying and he was very thankful for the conversation. He said he had never really heard that before and said that he would really investigate these things. Please pray that God will convert this man.
During this period of time, Jamie arrived at the Coast and joined in witnessing to people. He had a very extensive conversation with a person who was brought up Roman Catholic but now had his own religion. So Jamie presented the law and the gospel to Him, and I pray that God will convert this man from his work-righteous religious system.
To God be the glory!